Thursday, March 10, 2011

Favorite Picture Book Blogfest

Check out the other entries over at:

I don't often post blogfests on this blog but this one seemed appropriate. Picture books are some of the greatest books out there because they are the start, the books that draws us into the magical world of reading.

Not only are picture books fun to read, they are also an interesting set of books to write but despite the shorter length and fun pictures, the books aren't easy to do. While I haven't been reading many picture books lately (no kids of my own and most my little cousins live in Utah) I have had a chance to see a few submissions as an intern.

The hard part isn't getting the words down, and I've even tried writing them before, but to make something in a short amount of words that is not only entertaining but also unique enough considering the number of people trying to write for kids makes it difficult. There are so many out there and yet there are only a few that stick within my memory. I may have to go back and read some others some day. But for now, I have a few favorites to post for this blogfest.

About the Blogfest:
"I challenge you to blog about your favorite picture book.  It can be what your favorite was as a child or what your favorite is as a parent, as a writer, as a teacher.  Tell us about it!  What made (or makes) you love it?  Tell us in two sentences or fifteen paragraphs.  Be creative or plain.  Just celebrate picture books with me!"

Basically, we are supposed to pick just one but I am going to not follow the rule and pick a few based on different parts of my life that I discovered them. I have never been very good at picking a favorite anything. Oh well.

Up first:  The Very Hungry, Hungry Catipillar

Who knew such a little book could have a big impact? The thing with this book is I still remember it. I can almost see some of the pictures even though I haven't read the book in ages, and until searching for the cover for this post, I hadn't seen the book in over a year. And I have a terrible memory. But I still remember this book. This is also what I think of when I think Picture Book because it's one of those hard surfaced, image on every page, not a ton of words types. The non-popup (yes there is a popup one) version had creative uses of design to make parts of the hard "page" seem like it had been eaten by a hungry caterpillar. It is just plain cute. Even the drawing of the caterpillar itself isn't overly realistic but it's close enough and cute enough with the colors and everything for little ones (and those of any age) to enjoy.

There there is: The Giving Tree

I don't quite remember this book as a kid. I want to think that I had it at my grandparents house but it's hard to be certain. I do know they have a copy of the book now. It's definitely a great book. How often can someone manage to make a Tree into a main character; not often at all. And this one did it so well along with the message the tree represents. I may not be certain that I read the book as a child, but as an adult I have read the book a number of times (in a row) to my little cousins when I was living in Utah. They love it.

Finally, I can't leave out: Dr. Seuss books

They have a lot more writing than the first book I mentioned but the pictures are fun and the stories vary in difficulty. While I don't remember them either as a kid, I started to appreciate them more in high school when one of my friends used a couple books for competing in Speech. And I soon followed. Among my favorites for right now are: Horton Hears a Who, The Lorax, Oh The Places You'll Go, And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street, and of course Green Eggs and Ham. Then there are the other version inspired by Seuss such as Seussical the Musical (which is a combination of stories like Horton Hears a Who, Horton Hatches and Egg, and a mixture of others) or the crazy fun version of Green Eggs and Ham by Moxy Fruvous. Because Seuss picture books and the things they inspire are a symbol of fun. I even have some of the books already along with a couple stuffed animals (from Kohl's) already set aside for when I have kids. Because they should know the joy that picture books can bring.


Megan K. Bickel said...

Great post, Dawn! All of those are total classics and I can see exactly why you picked them.

Thanks for participating in my blogfest! It's been great to meet you!

KO: The Insect Collector said...

These are really some of my favorite books to read over and over again with my kids. I love them. Great picks.

Danette said...

All great classics! My son could read 'Go, Dogs, Go' over and over again!!! And 'The Giving Tree'... such a beautiful story no matter how many times you read it. A must for every library!!! Great choices!!! Cheers!

Susan Kane said...

Those are some very excellent books! Teaching kept me in touch with those and other super books! Being a grandma--even better, for I get to introduce these books to my two granddaughters. I am checking this blogfest out.
You are amazing, as always.

Anonymous said...

Lot's of great books here. I should get more Dr. Seuss books out of the library.

Book For Little Hands said...

I'll be borrowing and buying more Dr Seuss books also!
I only bought, Oh the Places You'll Go, last year after reading that it's a favourite book in America for graduation students. I love Green Eggs and Ham and Cat in the Hat.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Great choices. I love that the Giving Tree appeals to adults as much as kids.

Love Green Eggs and Ham...that's another book I've read so often I could recite it in my sleep.

Katy said...

Wonderful choices! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of my favorites too. :)

Julie Hedlund said...

As a picture book writer, you make some excellent points about the challenges of writing them for today's market!

Excellent choices, btw!

Alison Stevens said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your selections. The Giving Tree still makes me teary sometimes when I read it to my son.

salarsenッ said...

Great post!! I love them all. The Giving Tree...say no more. I used to read that to my daughter over and over, again. I just posted my favorite PB. Finally making the rounds for the blogfest! Following you now.

Corey Schwartz said...

Love, love, love Seuss! (even named my blog after him)

Grillyfish said...

I love your post - not only are you insightful about reading and writing picture books but you picked books similar to me!

I too love the Hungry Caterpillar and my choice of Shel Silverstein's Giraffe and a Half topped all Dr Seuss for me! My favourite Dr Seuss was always Hop on Pop though!